In Times of Decision
In my devotional readings last week, I was encouraged by Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2:1-6
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
On October 20th, the citizens of BC elected mayors, city councillors and school trustees. Whether or not the candidates of our choice were elected, we are encouraged by the Lord to intercede for “all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” So, may we pray for our elected municipal officials like Mike Hurley (Burnaby), Kennedy Stewart (Vancouver), Jonathan Cote (New Westminster), Doug McCallum (Surrey), Malcolm Brodie (Richmond) and Richard Stewart (Coquitlam). May those who govern us be marked by justice and integrity, working for the good of their respective communities.
On October 17th, our federal government legalized the sale and use of cannabis. The legislation is complex and far-reaching. My intent, here, is not to argue the pros and cons of legalization, but to ask the question, “Why do so many of us, in Canada, choose to use recreational drugs, legal or illegal?” The demand for cannabis and other drug substances gives testimony to a deeper disquiet in Canadian souls. One documentary concludes that the search for “joy” drives the movement. If this is true, we have reason to remember our high calling.
On the same day that I read 1 Timothy 2, my Old Testament reading was from 2 Kings 5. Namaan was a successful commander of the Syrian army. His army had enslaved many Israelites. When he became ill, his Jewish servant told him about Elisha, the prophet of God. Elisha had a word of healing for him. Following his healing, Namaan became a worshipper of Yahweh, the true God. May God grant us words of healing and life for those around us who live in darkness!
Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2:1-6 remind us of God’s heart. He desires that all people be saved (healed, delivered, restored). May we as a church remain focused on the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is for all people (Romans 1:16-17). Jesus is the only mediator between God and humankind, who gave himself as a ransom for all. When people receive the Holy Spirit and walk in newness of life, an inexpressible, enduring joy fills their hearts (1 Peter 1:8-9).
And, may we remember, that we all have been appointed and gifted by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel, in word and deed. We now have the names of more than 200 adults and students who have given their lives to Jesus in 2018 through the ministries of Willingdon Church. It is not about the number, but about people with real stories, who have said yes to Jesus and now need to be discipled and drawn into church family. Our desire is join God in what He is doing and give Him the glory!
Our ministry teams are preparing for outreach events throughout the Christmas Season (Christmas at Willingdon, banquets, teas). We can participate in many ways: praying, inviting friends and family, and volunteering. One of our great opportunities for kingdom service begins in the parking lot May the name of Jesus be lifted high this Christmas Season!